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May 18, 2017

By the numbers, New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the nation: But is that diversity reflected in the workplace and in people’s social lives? The answer, appropriately enough, is mixed, according to Taft Communications’ Second Annual State of Diversity Survey. Of those surveyed, 86 percent said they interact with someone of a different race or ethnicity every day at work. But the numbers dropped significantly outside of the workplace; 64 percent of those participating said their interactions went beyond their own group. That percentage dropped to 48 percent for respondents 60 or older.

Does diversity translate into sensitivity about others? Possibly. Asked how often they heard comments that could be considered offensive to minorities, 6 percent in 2016 said very often; in 2017 the response was 7 percent. But when nonwhites were asked the question, 2016’s 6 percent more than doubled (14 percent) in 2017.

In another significant increase, when asked whether they hear things at work that could be offensive to Jews, 15 percent of all respondents said they had heard such statements at least occasionally, compared with 9 percent last year.

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